Sunday, November 24, 2013

61. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


Today I started my love affair with another superb museum - the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – not quite as intense as I was with the Met in NYC, but this place is superb and needed two visits to comprehend and digest its grandeur. 

 
the impressive approach to the museum
 
The Spanish, being very much thoughtful about the welfare of their tourists, have installed  – and hidden in the shrubbery off to the sides – outdoor escalators to save our knees on the hundreds of steps leading up to the Museum. 
 
looking back from the front terrace of the Museum down the av Queen Marie Cristine
 
The roots of this amazing collection of Catalonian art goes back to the 1880s when the government saw the need to start preserving artworks – a lot of which comes from ancient buildings and churches that were demolished to make way for modern progress !!! – and culminated in the 1930s when the collection was first exhibited.
 
central atrium
 
The collection is catalogued into four main departments – Medieval Art, Gothic Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art and finally Modern Art up to the 1940s, and is “housed” in the Palau Nacional on Montju├»c ( a very grand building constructed between the years 1926 and 1929 for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona ). Floor space covers more than 30,000 impressive sq m.
 
Cap de Crist - Juame Cascalls - 1352
 
It will take me two postings to show you a good representation of the works on exhibition - and this first blog will cover the Medieval through Romanesque to Gothic collections.  
 
Sant Joan Evangalista - anon - painted timber - 1300 
Screen de Santa Ursula - anon - painted timber panel - 1300
 
Sant Llucia - anon - painted timber - 1300
 
Altarpiece de la Mare de Deu i Sant Antoni Abat - anon - painted timber - 1380
 
detail ...
 
Mare de Deu - anon - ivory - 1385
 
Altarpiece to Sant Joan Baptista - anon - painted timber - 1350
 
What makes this Museum – like the Met and definitely unlike the Louvre – is the superb way the collection is presented. The galleries are large with white walls and cleverly lit to make the works stand out but not stress us viewers out as we wander from chamber to chamber. It is very easy on the eye and they have obviously given a lot of thought as to what works to display and what to hold back.
 

 
 

Mare de Deu - anon - alabaster - 1300

 Salvador - Pere Joan - alabaster - 1440

Altarpiece de Santa Barbara - Goncal Peris Sarris - painted timber - 1415


Mare de Deu de la Llet - anon - painted timber - 1450

Altarpiece de la Sant Miquel i Sant Pere - Jaume Cirera - painted timber - 1450

 detail ...
Consagracio de Sant Agusti - Jaume Huguet - painted timber - 1470

Teles de les portes de l'orgue ( organ doors ) - anon - fabric - 1495 

 Altarpiece de l'Epifania - Joan Reixach - painted timber - 1469

Mare de Deu de la Porciuncula - Joan Reixach - painted timber - 1450

detail ...

Poliptic de Sant Joan Evangelista - anon - painted timber - 1480


Sepulcre dels Ardevol - anon - sandstone - 1480

Tombstone de Margarida Cadell - anon - stone - 1308

Coronation de la Mare de Deu - anon - alabaster - 1420

Coronation de la Mare de Deu - anon - timber - 1440

detail ...

Deposition with the body of Christ on the way from Calvary - anon - timber - 1500

 Sant Sabastia - anon - timber - 1480

Group of Apostles - Damia Forment - alabaster - 1530

detail ...

Mare de Deu Amb el Nen - anon - timber - 1540

Sant Joan Baptista i Sant Francesc d'Assis - El Greco - oils - 1578

Portrait re drama - Vicenzo Tamagni - oils - 1523

Girl in front of Mirror - Tiziano Vecellio - oils - 1550  

Portrait of a Youth - Willem Drost - oils - 1654

Lady Aletheia Talbot - Peter Rubens - oils - 1620

Lady Georgiana Poyntz - follower of Peter Gainsborough - oils - 1750

Santa Cecilia - Giambattista Tiepolo - oils - 1760

 
Sant Pere i Sant Pau - El Greco - oils - 1600
 
Portrait d'Antonio Anselmi - Tiziano Vecellio - oils - 1550

La Magdalena confortada per angels - Sebastio Ricci - oils - 1694

Sant Roc com a pastro de la pesta - Peter Rubens - oils - 1623

Romanesque Art taken from churches in the Pyrenees - dated 11th 12th and 13th centuries ...







 
A beautiful collection of mainly religious artworks from the Catalonian region of Spain ... superbly curated with an eye for imagination   ..

Just a little story at my expense - when I approached the Museum cashier with my entry fee in hand, she whispered to me with a very friendly smile on her lips  – “ no senor – pensioners are free …” I was furious of course – but pleased that I had saved myself $18 on each visits !!! ...
 
Next posting I'll show you the rest of the Museum ...